"Before someone gives a knockout punch in a cartoon," an inspired fanzine writer once wrote, "he sticks his thumb in his mouth and inflates his fist until it is ten times its original size. Evan Johns is that fist." Fireburner guitarist Johns came originally from those same D.C. suburbs that--thanks to toxic waste dumps, a nuclear accident, or what I don't know--also produced ax gods Danny Gatton and Roy Buchanon. He's now based in Austin, and his band is well named--they're a roots-rock ensemble crossed with a sidewinder missile. He's blues-based enough for the purists, but loves the Ramones and is interested enough in sound manipulation (volume-knob manipulation, if you want the truth) to have had his first record come out on Jello Biafra's Alternative Tentacles label. His new record Bombs Away, produced by E-Streeter Gary Tallent, displays serious fallout potential: it has the same sort of polish as a jetliner landing without wheels, and Johns, God love him, still complains that it doesn't approximate the band's sound live. Not to be missed. Tonight, Lounge Ax, 2438 N. Lincoln; 525-6620.